Research shows that about 43% of all women between the ages of 18 and 59 suffer from female sexual dysfunction. As many as two-thirds of those may have low androgen levels, according to Andre’ Guay MD, endocrinologist at Harvard Medical School. The research was presented Saturday at the 15th Annual Meeting and Clinical Congress of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
Dr. Guay cited many factors involved in decreased libido, including depression, anxiety, chronic illness, medications, menopause, and androgen deficiency. Androgen deficiency itself can be caused by complications in the ovarian, adrenal, pituitary, and hypothalamic systems.
At this time, there are no FDA-approved androgen replacements for women. Level 2 research has shown that all of the major types of androgen replacement approved for use in men, have demonstrated increased libido and arousal in women with female sexual dysfunction. Three methods, parenteral, testosterone patches, and testosterone gel all demonstrated increases in ability to orgasm, and frequency of sexual intercourse.
Also discussed at the meeting on Saturday was the increasing prevalence of performance enhancing drugs in American sports. The session was moderated by Paul C. Carpenter, MD, endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic, and consultant to the International Olympic Committee.
“What we are witnessing is a violation of the public trust and a degradation of the public health,” said Dr. Carpenter. Research shows that 4.5% of high school senior boys admit to taking performance enhancing drugs. Another 2.4% of girls also admit to taking the drugs. Even more concerning is that 2% of 8th graders also make the admission. And Dr. Carpenter says that number is increasing every year.
“It is crucial for physicians in general and in particular endocrinologists to educate our young people as to the long term dangers of using performance enhancing drugs,” said Fred A. Williams Jr, MD, FACP, FACE, Associate Clinical Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Research shows that in 1992, almost two-thirds of high schoolers considered performance enhancing drugs as dangerous. Today, that level has dropped to slightly more than 55%.
AACE is a professional medical organization with more than 5,300 members in the United States and 85 other countries. Founded in 1991, AACE is dedicated to the optimal care of patients with endocrine problems. AACE initiatives inform the public about endocrine disorders. AACE also conducts continuing education programs for clinical endocrinologists, physicians whose advanced, specialized training enables them to be experts in the care of endocrine disease, such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, growth hormone deficiency, osteoporosis, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and obesity.
Revision date: June 11, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD